In This Issue
Hein-Fry 2009
Dr. Vargas on Relations with Cuba
PLTS Board Affirms Welcoming Statement
Summer Session 2009
IRA Rollover Provision Extended
Grad Updates
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Above the Fog
PLTS Newsletter

May 2009
Please enjoy this news from your seminary.
Hein-Fry 2009
NessanThose who ventured up Marin Avenue for the 19th Annual Hein-Fry Lecture on April 22nd were greeted with bright sunshine and a warm welcome from PLTS. After some delicious pastries and some "Lutheran" coffee, all were greeted by seminary president, Rev. Dr. Phyllis Anderson, and then joined in Morning Prayer in the Chapel of the Cross. After worship, Rev. Dr. Craig Nessan, Dean of the Faculty at Wartburg Theological Seminary, brought greetings from his seminary and then his thoughtful lecture, "Interpreting the Bible Lutheranly: Between the Undertow and the Tsunami." Because his assignment was to lecture on campuses in Florida and California, he used nautical terms to introduce the challenges we face in Biblical study and interpretation. After his 75 minute presentation and a brief intermission, he entertained questions from the 150 or so in attendance.
Hein-Fry PenumukaFollowing the delicious luncheon prepared and served by PLTS students, everyone reconvened in the chapel for the official response to the lecture delivered by Rev. Dr. Moses Penumaka. Dr. Penumaka is the director of TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries) and associate professor of contextual theology at PLTS. In his response, he invited the presenter to seek for ways to bridge the gap between justification and justice, and offered some teachings from his background that might help to do so. Dr. Nessan then reflected publicly and graciously on Dr. Penumaka's insights, and both presenters fielded questions from the group.

The Hein-Fry Lecture Series grew out of 40 years of tradition from the predecessor bodies of the ELCA. Through a series of annual lectures, leading theologians address pressing theological issues facing the church. This endowed series encourages intellectual inquiry and lively discussion among Lutheran college and seminary faculty and students, clergy and lay people. Rev. Dr. Steed Davidson, associate professor of Old Testament at PLTS, is also a Hein-Fry Lecturer this year, and has visited the campuses of Luther Seminary and Pacific Lutheran University.
This year's Hein-Fry lectures will be published soon in Currents in Theology & Mission.
Dr. Vargas on Relations With Cuba
VargasDr. Alicia Vargas is featured in an article from the ELCA news service in which she speaks eloquently about U.S. relations with Cuba and her hope for the future.
You can read the article here.
Dr. Vargas, who moved from Cuba to Florida at the age of fifteen, is the director of contextual education and the assistant professor of contextual and multicultural studies at PLTS.
PLTS Board of Directors Affirms Welcoming Statement
At its April board meeting, the PLTS board of directors voted to affirm the following welcoming statement:
"Welcome to PLTS, a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a faith and learning community dedicated to excellence in theological education for developing leaders for the church in the world. Our beautiful location, dynamic faculty, cutting-edge curriculum, closely-knit community and membership in the Graduate Theological Union, provide a unique setting for engaging issues of Christian faith, discipleship, and the communication of the gospel to a world in need of truly good news.
PLTS is an inclusive community and offers hospitality to all who participate in our programs of study. As disciples of Christ committed to public leadership among God's people in diverse and challenging cultural contexts, we eagerly learn from and welcome one another's diversity, including, but not limited to, theological perspective, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, relationship status, age, physical ability, social and economic status and sexual orientation."

By adoption of this welcome, the Board also voted to seek designation as a Reconciling in Christ seminary.
Read more about the decision here.
Summer Session 2009
bridgeSummer session is sponsored this year by Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, the Pacific School of Religion, and the Center for Arts, Religion and Education of the Graduate Theological Union.
Summer session is designed especially for you: clergy and lay leaders who want to broaden your theological understanding and strengthen your skills for effective ministry. Visit our web site for a class listing and to register.
IRA Rollover Provision Extended Through 2009
Do you like to avoid taxes? Do you have an IRA? The Federal Government has extended the provision whereby you can designate your Required Minimum Distribution (or any part of it) to PLTS and avoid any income taxes you would otherwise pay on that distribution. The limit is $100,000. If you wish to make a gift to PLTS and want to designate the RMD from your IRA, call Joel ASAP in the Office of Seminary Relations. His number is (510) 559-2711, or you can email him at
Graduate Updates
Helen Liesenberg (MDiv 1990) is presently serving as Interim of Trinity Lutheran Church, Long Beach, CA.  Helen writes, "retirement never means giving up ministry. . . it just means doing ministry differently.  For me, intentional interim ministry is the way God has been calling."

Martin Malzahn (MDiv 2003) has been selected to receive the Masland Fellowship award, a full tuition scholarship to study at Columbia University's Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He will end his ministry with St. Philip's Lutheran Church in Carmel on June 28th. In July he will travel to Latin America to study Spanish in preparation for his transition back to academic life.
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